With Bitcoin’s rise in value hitting financial headlines, there are likely few people who haven’t heard about cryptocurrency. What began as a small-scale experiment has grown into one of the most intriguing money innovations in two centuries. Some businesses have already begun to integrate cryptocurrency in several ways.
Bitcoin began 2017 with a value of roughly $1,000, but by mid-December, it had risen to almost $16,000. ICOs are raising more money for startups than venture capital funds. Furthermore, Goldman Sachs is looking into incorporating Bitcoin into its investment portfolio.
All of these figures are fascinating. However, cryptocurrencies are meant to be more than a speculative market for forward-thinking investors. They’re meant to improve online transactions.
In addition, they can make business easier in new and important ways. However, what can businesses do with cryptocurrencies? Are they a viable business answer or are they a hyped-up asset inside a speculation bubble?
Some business owners now know that they can accomplish a lot when they integrate cryptocurrency. They are starting to incorporate them into their business operations in some basic but substantial ways. Here are some of them:
1. Accept Cryptocurrencies as Payment
Today, online shopping is dominating the retail market in a big way. It is the leading retail marketplace in many aspects. For the first time, buyers are turning to online stores for the majority of their purchases.
Furthermore, while making an online purchase, customers have many payment alternatives, including cryptocurrencies. Although there are millions of Bitcoin users with funds to spend, few businesses accept this method of payment right now. However, some firms have begun to capitalize on the cryptocurrency craze to grow their operations.
With high-profile actions by Expedia, Overstock.com, and even Shopify, retailers are increasingly widening their embrace. CryptoJewelry is a jeweler that specializes in making one-of-a-kind items that feature the iconic Bitcoin symbol. Furthermore, they take bitcoin payments as well.
Businesses can easily integrate cryptocurrency into their payment systems. There are a host of resources available for this purpose. In addition, it’s an easy way to cater to a market with an appreciating asset they are willing to spend.
2. Create Distinct Revenue Streams With Cryptocurrency
The value of cryptocurrencies has been on the rise. In 2017 alone, the cryptocurrency market grew by more than 1200 percent. Companies who take cryptocurrency as payment will be purchasing an asset that is increasing in value, at least for now.
Overstock.com, a large online shop that accepts Bitcoin, is embracing this technique by investing half of its Bitcoin payments. Of course, there’s no assurance that cryptocurrency values will keep rising. However, a systematic approach to crypto-investment can help organizations diversify revenue streams, while also responding to consumer tastes.
3. Securely Gather and Keep Data
Companies are clamoring for client information because, in the marketing world, data is king. However, the methods by which firms obtain customer data are frequently intrusive. Furthermore, already poor consumer perceptions become worse when personal data is compromised as a result of a security breach.
Unfortunately, this is occurring with alarming regularity. Blockchain technology allows businesses to gain valuable information from consumers. Additionally, companies can safeguard that information by storing it on the blockchain and generating a blockchain token for consumer data.
Network, a travel firm that wants to make booking and travel easier, is already making use of this data. The company uses a Smart Travel Record to store critical information about users’ travel, like hotels, flights, and other arrangements. This method streamlines travel and also makes understanding travel costs easier and more transparent.
This is a win-win situation for both customers and businesses. Further, organizations that implement this concept early will stand out from the crowd.
4. Create a Customer Loyalty Program Using Blockchain
Customer loyalty programs are widely recognized as one of the most effective methods to engage with and keep customers. A blockchain token could allow businesses to do so even more efficiently. Businesses may run their loyalty programs more cost-effectively and securely through the blockchain.
In addition, they will be providing attractive real-time benefits and options. For instance, they can begin by combining loyalty programs into a single central interface and allowing immediate rewards.
Integrating cryptocurrency into your business effectively can entail much more than simply expanding your payment options. It fosters a dynamic interaction between businesses and customers. This, in turn, is beneficial to all parties in the interaction.
5. Make Use of Smart Contracts
An agreement sealed with a handshake has an old and pleasant quality to it. However, in today’s world, that level of faith might be asking a lot. The smart contract has several advantages over ordinary contracts.
Businesses that use cryptocurrencies can integrate smart contracts into their workflows. This means that agreements and stipulations can be drawn up at the start of a contract. After that, the powerful computer language will disburse funds automatically when stipulations are met.
For example, Cool Cousin is a travel website that connects travelers with locals. It works by allowing users to exchange local travel information for the company’s tokens via smart contracts.
When businesses integrate cryptocurrency smart contracts, they provide a mechanism to prosper in the complex, twenty-first-century economy. They can thrive in the age of the sharing economy, the independent digital nomad, and the online marketplace.
Image Credit: Crypto Crow; Pexels; Thank you!